Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the winner of more than 20 literary accolades. For a complete list of her awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

For readers tired of clichés and cartoons, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers nuanced insight to historical events and figures based on sound research and an understanding of human nature. Her complex and engaging characters bring history back to life as a means to better understand ourselves.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Characters of "Where Eagles Never Flew" - The Baron

  During World War Two, some Germans claimed that they had a royal army, an imperial navy and a National Socialist air force. The expression was intended to highlight the different ethos dominating the respective services. Certainly the Luftwaffe was young and it was led by one of the most fanatical Nazis, Hermann Goering. Yet ultimately the young men who joined the Luftwaffe, like those who flocked to the RAF and USAF, were most attracted not by ideology but by the desire to fly.

Leutnant Christian Freiherr von Feldburg was one of them.


"Fatty's gone and given Galland and Moelders Geschwader," Christian announced, as Ernst arrived for breakfast. It was at a "civilied" time this morning, because the Staffel wasn't slated to fly escort until the afternoon. Morning fog clung to the Channel, delaying all flying. 

Ernst whistled. The papers had been full of pictures of them grinning beside the Reichsmarshall, shotguns over their arms, the slaughtered partridges inevitably likened to their mounting score of Spitfires and Hurricanes. Still, they were very junior and to command a Geschwader was to command three Gruppe of three Staffel each, or roughly 100 aircraft and more than a 1,500 men. Ernst considered Christian's expression and asked hesitantly, "Isn't that good?"

"Good? What's good about it? The Gallands and Moelders of this world care only about their personal glory. Haven't you heard? Their entire Gruppe had to hover about protecting them while they attacked alone -- bounce after bounce, running up their own score. Is that the most effective use of 40 fighters? Now, I suppose, they'll expect the whole damned Geschwader to 'protect' them!

Christian Freiherr von Feldburg is a child of privilege. Although his father was a wealthy Catholic nobleman and member of the German Reichstag for the Center Party. Christian has grown up with every advantage possible: wealth, parental love, a first rate education, and good looks. He is fortunate, too, to have an elder brother who dutifully assumes all the burdens and obligations of his old and noble family. Philip does all the "right" things, leaving Christian free to just have fun. Philip is also the serious one, the intellectual one, the man with a conscience. Philip is shocked by the Nazis, outraged by their policies, distressed by the consequences of aggression, frightened for the future of a nation that acts immorally. Christian just wants to fly fast aeroplanes and date pretty girls.

Christian's light-hearted attitude toward life in general is tolerated by his superiors, who see it as fundamentally harmless. His indifference to National Socialist ideology, on the other hand, is viewed as a more serious flaw. His jokes border on treason at times and he can be insubordinate -- both traits that hold him back from rapid promotion or the best assignments.

Nor is Christian the best pilot. He's not bad, but he's not Adolf Galland either. In fact, it takes him rather a long time before he can claim his first "kill." Yet there is no denying that most of his fellow pilots like him. He's generous, helpful, encouraging and fun to be with. He also knows how to inspire confidence and encourage the timid --  like Ernst Geuke.

Beneath his easy-going facade is a man who has not escaped his upbringing. He has learned the difference between right and wrong and he knows lies when he hears them. He has moral compass. Beneath the surface, remains a man of principle who will eventually break with the regime in his own way.


Excerpt Continues:

"Ah, Freiherr von Feldburg seeing the best in everything as usual." The CO thumped himself down in the chair opposite and shoved his cap back on his head.

Ernst sat up straighter and waited for what would happen next, Christian remained just as he was, side to the table, his long legs stretched out and crossed at the booted ankles.

"I do have some good news. We aren't flying escort this afternoon. We've been given a free hunt."

Christian sat up straighter. "That's more like it!"

"Apparently, Galland and Moelders talked Fatty into more of them."

"Of course! Gives them a better chance to run up their own scores." Christian's tone was instantly sneering again.

"Don't be jealous, Feldburg. It demeans you. Your own score could be higher, after all...."

Christian looked sharply at Ernst, but he knew Ernst hadn't betrayed him. Ernst had offered to lie for him outright. As Christian had jumped down after returning from yesterday's sortie, Ernst had been waiting for him to ask in a low voice, "Do you want me to say I saw it go in?"

"Of course not," Christian had retorted.

"But we can't claim it as it is," Ernst had protested in distress. "The engine was dead an the pilot was about to bail out, but we scared him back into the cockpit."

"So, we don't claim it," Christian had told him simply. "We don't say anything about it at all."

Ernst had done just that, so how had the CO found out about it? Or was he referring to something else?

The CO stood up again. "You need to decide what it is you want, Feldburg. No knowing might be dangerous one day."


 "This is the best book on the life of us fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain that I have ever seen.... I couldn't put it down."-- RAF Battle of Britain ace, Wing Commander Bob Doe.

Winner of a Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction, a Maincrest Media Award for Military Fiction and Silver in the Global Book Awards.

Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/where-eagles-never-flew




Riding the icy, moonlit sky,

they took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. 

Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one bomber pilot, his crew and the woman he loved. 

It is intended as a tribute to them all.  

Buy now on amazon

or Barnes and Noble


Disfiguring injuries, class prejudice and PTSD are the focus of three heart-wrenching tales set in WWII by award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader. Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/grounded-eagles





For more information about all my books visit: https://www.helenapschrader.com




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